Though the traditional International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) has only two levels to each rank, I have expanded it to include a 5-stripe system. The first three stripes are the initial rank, and stripes 4 and 5 are the advanced rank within each belt. Each stripe achieved represents another bit of knowledge gained. Students will progress from White to Yellow to Green to Blue to Red and finishing their basic training at Black Belt. With each rank, students acquire more knowledge. The learning is divided into small sections, making the information and techniques easier to practice and remember. The goal is to have students retain all they have been taught.
There is no set time for each rank. A student progresses at their own pace, achieving advancing rank when it is earned, based on several evaluating factors.
In the Kids Class, if a student is between 7 and 10 years old, a slightly different rank belt is used. This belt is White, with a colored stripe that runs the length of the belt. Students will advance in the same color rank progression as the older students, but without the more stringent requirements for advancement. Once a student turns 10 years old, they will join the full-colored belt ranks. The color of their new rank belt will be one that represents their actual knowledge base, based on their acquired knowledge to date. They will then progress with the full-colored belt ranks going forward from there. Example: A student joins at 8 years old, and by the time they are about to turn 10 years old, they are a long stripe Green Belt. Once they turn 10, based on their actual knowledge, they may receive a full colored rank belt of Yellow, Advanced Yellow, or possibly even Green!